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Lara Baladi (Lebanese/Egyptian, b. 1969)

Justice for the Mother

Lara Baladi (Lebanese/Egyptian, b. 1969)
Justice for the Mother
light jet print mounted on plexiglass
52 x 118in. (132 x 300cm.)
Executed in 2007; this work is number three from an edition of eight
B21 Gallery, Dubai
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Lot Essay

Lara Baladi has worked in a variety of media, from installations and video to photography and collages. Her photographic collages, rich in surreal detail, are an important component of her work. These works are autobiographical, revealing events and elements of influence in her life, both through real events and through her own imaginative and symbolic mythology. Born in Lebanon to Egyptian and Lebanese parents. Baladi has lived between Beirut, Paris, London and Cairo, helping to shape her sense of the culturally hybrid, which informs much of her work. Ever present is a concern with memory, both personal and collective, actual and imagined, expressed in multi-cultural motifs which bridge the divide between Oriental and Occidental.

This large-scale photo-montage is part of an even larger work, which depicts a lost paradise, blending photographs from her upbringing, with other seemlingly unrelated elements. The focus is on her father riding a motorcycle out of a chaotic landscape replete with wild animals, promiscuous scenes and political turmoil (all of which represnt a wild past) towards the future- emigration to the West. The blurring of imagery demonstrates the lack of clarity in the process. This digital image featured at the 8th Sharjah Biennial in 2007 and the Occidentalism show held at Pension Suisse in Cairo in May 2007.

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